July 31, 2010

Remember Bruschetta

I fell in love with Bruschetta again!  I haven't had it in about 4 1/2 years, ordered it as an appetizer at the Olive Garden the other night and ahhh...love again!  As I was eating my freshly toasted leftovers, sprinkled with melted cheese, I thought: "How can I make this an even better, more energizing snack?" "Add some protein of course." - I answered myself.  Hmmm...how to do that without losing the feel of a toasty bread snack?

Bruschetta and Hummus:
Spread a light layer of hummus (recipe) on your thinly sliced (already toasted) ciabatta bread, sprinkle with shredded cheese and broil in the oven until cheese is melted.  Top with the (delicious) bruschetta recipe below and "viola!"  A perfect pick-me-up snack, loaded with protein, a little carbs to keep your energy lasting longer and even a little fresh vegetables to balance out your decadent treat.
Ah, perfection.  Of course some of you are thinking I'm sacrilegious and just messed with an item of perfection, and that's okay.  We can all have our bruschetta any way we want...and eat it too!

Bruschetta Recipe: (Olive Garden's own recipe)

4 Roma (plum) tomatoes, diced 2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 garlic clove, cut in half
Black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
10 medium fresh basil leaves, chopped
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
8 slices crusty Italian bread
Extra virgin olive oil (to drizzle)
  1. COMBINE diced tomatoes and chopped garlic in a mixing bowl. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Add half of chopped basil and 4 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.
  2. DRIZZLE both sides of bread slices with extra virgin olive oil. Grill bread lightly on both sides.
  3. RUB grilled bread with cut half of garlic clove to infuse with flavor. Top each slice with hummus and tomato mixture.
  4. GARNISH with remaining chopped basil and serve immediately.

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